• Apr 14, 2008
Click above for high-res gallery of 2009 Cadillac XLR spy shots

The 2009 Cadillac XLR facelift has been unofficially revealed thanks to Brenda Priddy's merry band of shutter-clickers, who caught Caddy's roadster sans camo during a test drive. The freshened nose gets new foglamps and an egg-crate-style grille that stylistically brings it in line with the CTS, STS, DTS and Escalade Platinum front-ends. A tall, metallic-finish side extractor vent has been added to each front fender, as well. Out back, the exhaust still exits from beneath the center of the rear bumper, but on the "base" XLR shown, shapely, integrated widemouth tips now appear to be part of that bumper assembly. We're curious to see whether the XLR's interior also gets an overhaul. While not bad per se, the interior styling of Cadillac's flagship as currently offered falls short of the standard recently set by the entry-level CTS. It would serve GM well to lavish the new-style interior treatment upon the XLR, thus our interest in seeing spy shots of the '09's passenger compartment. (Got that, Brenda?) If the new XLR doesn't do it for you, Cadillac will have the CTS Coupe along in short order.


[Source: Brenda Priddy & Co.]


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  • 37 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      After riding in one the car feels big and heavy, not to mention it's based on the last generation corvette chassis.

      I wonder how it would perform if GM put it on the shorter chassis of the 2005+ vettes.
      • 6 Years Ago
      To simianspeedster:

      You're a bit off-base pal... the STS is hardly a bastion of the 60+ set. The DTS on the other hand is... but then again the DTS is pretty much the only "old-school" Cadillac left in the lineup and it is purposely built to cater to older folks. I've seen numerous well-off, middle-aged people driving an STS. The old folks barely touch it because A:) It's too expensive and B:) The ride is too firm compared to that of the cushy FWD platform of the DTS.

      Anyway... the XLR is a fine car and I'm lucky to have had the privilege to drive one. Some seem to forget that the XLR is nothing but a softened Corvette with the Northstar System.

      Some may also think that GM's choice of the Northstar over any LS-based engine is a stupid one, when in reality it makes loads of sense. The target demographic of XLR is (for whatever ill-gotten and mis-contrived reason) appalled by the notion of having a pushrod engine beneath the hood of their car... it's dual cams and multiple valves or nothing for this set.

      Beyond that, the Northstar... especially in it's current iteration, is still a world-class engine and has matured into a fairly reliable one at that. The base version makes a more than adequate 320 horsepower which comes out to a respectable 70hp/L and 167hp/ton. The de-bored, supercharged version is a real barnstormer with 443hp which comes out to 101hp/L and 231hp/ton.

      Styling wise, I feel the XLR holds up mighty well against it's competition... just about the only one that looks better IMO is the Jaguar XK. The MB SLs have gotten to be disgusting looking over the years and the newest 6-series has been butt-ugly since its inception, and the Lexus SC is a sad joke, plain and simple.

      The only mistake Cadillac made with this car is its price... they could have really put a hurting on the competition had they priced the XLR more aggressively. Thankfully however... none of these big luxury coupes hold their value all that well.

      The biggest thing this car has against it though is the bias people bring with them towards GM. Once people start looking at the cars themselves and not the badge which sits upon them... they'll start to see some really worthwhile cars out there.
        • 6 Years Ago
        AMGoff:

        How can my obervations be "off base" when they are (drum roll, please) just observations?

        I call it like I see it in my area and I stand by what I said -- I rarely see STS' in SoCal, but when I do, they are almost always being driven by people 60+ years old.

        I didn't even mention the DTS because I *never* see those around here and I didn't even realize Cadillac was still making them.

        I don't know where you're located and what you see, but I'm offfering an account of WHAT I ACTUALLY SEE in my day to day life in my area. Or are you going to dispute that, too?

        Duh.

        -SimianSpeedster
      • 6 Years Ago
      Oh my!!!......................It looks the same...
        • 6 Years Ago
        Ditto. Not much of a "facelift".
        • 6 Years Ago
        Word.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Looks like a Corvette in a cheap Bangkok suit...
        • 6 Years Ago
        Well, it looks meaner to me.. like the aticle says, the front end kinda dips down now.

        I think this is a good face lift though. The XLR competes well as it stands, so I wouldn't see a need for anything drastic.

        I do remember reading a while back the interior would get overhauled, so I can't wait to see that.

        That exhaust.. bad ass.

        Can't wait to see the V series and the numbers it puts up. Hopefully GM will make it handle this time.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Looks ok. like the new grille
      • 6 Years Ago
      Mid cycle refresh, probably gets some of the steering improvements that the 'vette got as well.

      I wouldn't expect to see a total redesign until the C7 is out.
      • 6 Years Ago
      FAIL. Reminds me of 2004.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Yeah, nothing new here on the outside. Oh well.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Uglier than anything Bangle coud dream up. Cadillacs may not be your granddads car anymore but I've yet to see anyone under 45 driving an XLR.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I live in the US. The average 45 year old cannot afford an $80k car. Look at the latest sales charts if you get confused. cars like the SL, XK and XLR are hardly big sellers. The most popular car in the country costs $32k fully loaded. What country do you live in? Get out of your subdivision every now and then and check out the real world. I dont think I have ever seen anyone under 45 behind the wheel of an SL. Common sense tells you that income generally increases with age and most folks at that age are not in a position to own a car that costs $80k.
        • 6 Years Ago
        'The average 45 year old cannot afford an $80k car. Look at the latest sales charts if you get confused. cars like the SL, XK and XLR are hardly big sellers.'

        They don't sell because the only people buying them are old rich people, its a small group. Young rich buy other cars.

        'What country do you live in?

        The People's Republic of Scottsdale.
        'Get out of your subdivision every now and then and check out the real world. I dont think I have ever seen anyone under 45 behind the wheel of an SL.'

        Me either. The difference is you think it's because they can't afford it. A lot can't, the one's who can buy something else because this car is fugly.



        • 6 Years Ago
        probably because people under 45 generally cant afford an $80k car. Ever thought of that?
      • 6 Years Ago
      As a car nut living in Southern California, I will offer the following observations about Cadillacs in our area:

      CTS -- I see a few here and there, mostly driven by 50+ year olds. Drivers are a slightly older crowd than I see in most MB E Class sedans and definitely older on average than BMW 3 and 5 Series drivers. I think I've seen 2-3 CST-Vs total.

      STS -- I rarely see these, but when I do, the driver is always 60+. The blue-haired brigade!!! ;)

      Escalade -- These are everywhere driven by everyone from young single guys, pseudo-pimps and gangstas and suburban soccer moms.

      XLR -- Non-existent. I think I've seen 2 total in the last year, and I'm always looking for intresting/rare/noteworthy cars. I see plenty of Jag convertibles, gobs of MB SLs, even a few BWW 6 Series convertibles, but the XLR is nowhere to be found.

      It would be interesting to see the sale figures on this car nationally. Unless they are selling like hotcakes in some other region, I can't imagine this car is making GM much money.

      -SimianSpeedster
        • 6 Years Ago
        I was in Malibu this weekend and was surprised at how many 08 STS' I saw (driven by people under 50 nonetheless). While not as many as the number of 5-series of E-classes I saw, it is more STS' than I have seen in my area.

        While I didn't see but one XLR, in Dallas they are fairly popular
      • 6 Years Ago
      Again to Mr. Speedster:

      Might I recommend that you pick up a copy of English Grammar For Dummies... it might actually help you to understand what I wrote.

      Again... observations are subjective and I'm guessing that you don't actually stop everyone driving an STS and ask them for identification - so therefore without objective proof, we have what amounts to conjecture.

      Again... I didn't once say you know nothing about luxury cars. I merely said you (like many others here) feel compelled to comment on a brand which you know nothing about... and yes Virginia, if you didn't even know that Cadillac is still producing the DTS - then you obviously know very little about the brand.

      Finally... you want proof? I need to provide citations? If you want proof... open up your browser, go to google.com, and search "best selling full-size luxury car in America," and see what comes up. It's not that hard... when someone writes something that I think is BS, I take two seconds to do a search to see if they're wrong or not.

      So... I'm not questioning your observations - I'm questioning the reality behind them. I make no pretense about knowing what goes on in California, but biggest market or not - what goes on there is hardly a fair representation of the rest of the country, especially compared to the east coast and even more so to all of those "red" states in between. Finally... if you feel that was an "attack," then you're far too sensitive... the only thing I was attacking was the motive of someone who insists on commenting on a car manufacturer which they seem to know little about... Maybe I'm just some weird east-coaster - but I actually prefer to do a little research before I go all willy-nilly commenting on things. If you're going to make comments on the public domain, you best be prepared for when someone questions you on it.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "Finally... you want proof? I need to provide citations? If you want proof... open up your browser, go to google.com, and search "best selling full-size luxury car in America," and see what comes up. It's not that hard... when someone writes something that I think is BS, I take two seconds to do a search to see if they're wrong or not."

        You're not too good at this internet stuff, eh? I did exactly what you said, and you know what I came up with? THREE WEB SITES, one of which is from 2001, one of which is THIS THREAD and one is an advertising site. Try it yourself, dimwit: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&safe=off&q=%22best+selling+full-size+luxury+car+in+America%22

        Do you know the meaning of the word PROOF? Proof is not a "factoid" on a single advertising website -- proof is actual sales figures from reliable sources. You don't see this claim anywhere on Cadillac's web site, do you?

        "I make no pretense about knowing what goes on in California"

        HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! But you do!!! You're saying everything I see is just unrepresentative of the young man's brand that is Cadillac. You know what? I change my story -- In truth, I've been pulling over Cadillac drivers left and right and carding the lot of 'em. They are all members of AARP. Every single one of 'em. Any yet they still know more about the internet than you.

        You want proof? Following your unimpeachable logic, try Googling the phrase "only old people drive Cadillacs." http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=%22only+old+people+drive+cadillacs%22

        6 WEB SITES SAY SO!!! IT MUST BE TRUE!!!!

        -SimianSpeedster
      • 6 Years Ago
      To Mr. Speedster:

      You're right... I'm not in the People's Republic of California - I'm actually shocked to hear that the people there buy any domestic makes at all - I thought it was only fashionable to spend way too much money on European makes just because that's what everyone else does.

      But I digress... Might I just point out that "observations" are subjective. Do you stop everyone you see driving an STS and ask them for a form of identification? I can't see why you couldn't... you already take the time to note the observed demographics of a particular brand.

      Then again... Once we get out into the real world, we'll see that I am debating a person who didn't even realize that Cadillac is "still" producing, what is (and has been decades) the best selling full-size, luxury sedan in America. So once again... we have fair readers of Autoblog insisting on commenting on and/or insulting car manufacturers that they not only dislike... but know absolutely nothing about... seems not much has changed in my absence here.

      But I will concede to you that I don't know what goes on in "SoCal," so I'm left to go on keen observations by one who seems keenly uninterested by that which he is observing.

        • 6 Years Ago
        AMGoff,

        Let's recap:

        1) I offer my OBSERVATIONS of what I see in the way of Cadillacs in Southern California. Note that I NEVER SAID ONE CROSS WORD about any of Cadiallac's cars (re-read my post if you doubt me), but I was REALISTIC in my assessment that most Cadillacs, Escalades aside, do not seem to sell well in my area relative to other luxury brands and when I do see them on the road, they are usually being driven by people of advancing age. These are OBSERVATIONS based in the REALITY of my area.

        2) You proceed to tell me that my observations are WRONG (which is not possible) and assume that I am confusing the STS with the DTS, which is also WRONG. Later, you admit that you don't live in my area, which kind of undermines your staunch defense, don't you think?

        3) I correct you, reiterating that observations are, in your own words, subjective.

        4) You proceed to denigrate California, the biggest car buying state in the U.S., then assume, arrogantly, that everyplace else represents "the real world."

        5) Finally, you spew a supposed fact that Cadillac produces the best selling full-size luxury car in the U.S., citing no sources (please provide one). I, for one, don't believe it, but that's just me.

        6) Finally, for not knowing that Cadillac still sells the DTS, I am said to know "absolutely nothing" about luxury cars, as if the DTS is some genre-crushing champion of an automobile that I must be blind not to admire and seek out at every opportunity.

        Summary: I cite observations about a brand which has empirically been in trouble in recent years even if it is now on the rebound. Your response? You attack me personally, showing such an obvious bias towards Cadillac in the process that you can't bear anyone suggesting that they are not perfect. An to top it off, you sound like a pompous ass. Well done!

        -SimianSpeedster
      • 6 Years Ago
      Bummer...it looks almost the same....I was hoping for a BIG dose of Cien styling cues.
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